Culture

Lalo Alcaraz warns the sensitive to avoid his new show, 'Bordertown'

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A scene from the upcoming Fox animated series, "Bordertown."

A scene from the upcoming Fox animated series, "Bordertown."

Credit:

Courtesy of Animation Domination

If you've ever felt guilty for laughing at a Seth MacFarlane show like "Family Guy," get ready to do it again. His latest offering, "Bordertown," is set to air on Fox in January.

The show is set in a fictitious Texas town near the US-Mexico border. The main characters are Ernesto Gonzales, a Mexican immigrant who's been in the US for decades, and his underachieving border guard of a neighbor, Bud Buckwald, an updated Archie Bunker type who can't understand why his world is changing.

"It's set in a border town, but it's really a metaphor for the changing demographics of the US," says Lalo Alcaraz, who's spent more than 20 years documenting immigration and Latino issues in his politically themed syndicated cartoon, "La Cucaracha."

La Cucaracha, May 22, 2015. Lalo Alcaraz's comic strip has been running since 2002 and is the only political Latino-themed syndicated daily comic strip in the United States.

Credit:

(c) 2015 Lalo Alcaraz / Universal Uclick

He's also host of the radio show, "Pocho Hour of Power," as well as the guy credited with the satirical coining of the term "self-deportation" in 1994, years before Mitt Romney invoked it as a campaign issue.

Alcaraz is now also a writer and a consulting producer on "Bordertown."

"When I walked in the first day, I told the whole room of comedy writers, I told them if I seem awkward it's because I've worked as a cartoonist alone for 25 years in my own room. So please bear with me. Human contact is something new for me," he jokes.

Alcaraz expects Bordertown to be an equal opportunity offender, much like "Family Guy."

"If there's a group called the Redneck Anti-Defamation League, I think they wouldn't be interested in it," Alcaraz says. He also warns that anyone who's "very sensitive about comedic representations of Latinos" might not want to tune in either.

He admits there's something frustrating about talking — again — about the same issues he's been addressing about for two decades. "Sometimes I think, 'What am I doing this for?'" he says.

But the fact that he's writing about them on a show on Fox seems significant. "Something has changed," he says. "There's a big shift in this country, and I'm happy that I'm still alive to engage in the mainstream."

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